Orwell's vision of the life in the novel is claustrophobic and his character's lack the privilege of privacy. The world is over run by technology and each home contains a television which can watch the inhabitants. Not only can the government not be trusted but a number of the surrounding population are part of the 'thought police' (a group who report thoses who have negative thoughts about Big Brother to the government). Noone can be trusted and individuals are discouraged from having relationships, referring to those around them as comrades. The children are to be feared most of all as they have no allegiance to anyone - not even their parents!
Written in 1949, Orwell's interpretation of life in the late 20th century was terrifying but in many ways parallell to our present day. The watchful eye of Big Brother can be likened to the amount of cameras which surround us on a daily basis. Statistics say that the average person is caught on CCTV 60 times a day which is quite unnerving! The novel also contains elements of Orwell's present day, such as the repetition of war. The combination of the two makes the book very interesting to consider.
One of the most unexpected elements of this text for me was the inclusion of a love story. The protagonist Winston meets and falls in love with Julie. Together they try and have a relationship based on love despite the disapproval of Big Brother. It's interesting to read about their struggle for something we take for granted.
I'd definitely pass this book on as a must read. So much of our culture is based around our most popular fictions ( In this case the TV programme Big Brother!). There were some bits I found quite difficult to understand but it was worth persevering with.
My reading list for the coming months is as followed:
A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
Mary Queen of Scots - Antonia Fraser
Kings of Albion - Julian Rathborne
A Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
Little Women - Louise May Alcott
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
What are you reading at the moment? Can you recommend anything for my reading list?